Site Terms & Policies

Unless otherwise noted, your use of this site is goverened by the following agreements. Please familiarize yourself with their contents. If you do not agree with their conditions, please refrain from using this site. If you are affiliated with one of our partner institutions, you may be covered by a different set of terms.

Terms of Use

Please read these Terms of Service (these "Terms") carefully before accessing or using the OpenStax Tutor website, or other products, services, and pages offered by or through OpenStax Tutor.

OpenStax Tutor ("OpenStax Tutor " or the "Service") includes the services, products, and pages offered through the URLs openstaxtutor.org and/or tutor.openstax.org and/or openstax.org/openstax-tutor and/or accounts.openstax.org (collectively referred to as the "Site"). OpenStax Tutor is provided by William Marsh Rice University, its staff, independent contractors, and representatives (collectively referred to as "OpenStax," "we," "our," or "us"). As a person who accesses or registers to use the Service, you are a "User" (or "you") as such term is used in the Agreements ( defined below). A "Class" is an individual offering of a course through the Service. A Class is administered and overseen by "Class Educator(s)," which refers to the educator(s) administering the Class through the Service, including but not limited to, instructor(s), teaching assistant(s), and grader(s).

1. About the Agreements

Your access and use of the Service constitute your acceptance of, and agreement to be bound by, these Terms of Service, the Privacy Policy, any policies and procedures incorporated by reference, and any additional terms and conditions you have agreed to (collectively referred to as the "Agreements"). If you do not agree and accept to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Agreements, you must discontinue using or accessing the Service.

Capitalized terms that are not defined in these Terms of Service have the meaning given them in our Privacy Policy.

2. Eligibility

You may use the Service only in compliance with these Terms and all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules, and regulations.

To use the Service, you must provide true, accurate, current, and complete information about yourself when you complete our registration forms, and you must agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Any use or access by anyone under the age of 13 is prohibited.

By using OpenStax Tutor, you represent and warrant that you are eligible to use the Service as described in this section.

3. Modifications to the Agreements

We may modify the Agreements from time to time, for example to reflect changes to the Service or relevant laws. If we make material changes to the Agreements, we will, as applicable, notify you, your school, or school district of our intended changes and ask you or them to agree to modifications. If you, your school, or school district do not agree to the modifications, you must discontinue your use of the Service.

4. Privacy

Please read the Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy explains our policies and procedures with regard to data we collect when you use or access the Service. By using the Service, you consent to our collection, use, and disclosure of such data in accordance with our Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy will be treated as part of these Terms.

5. Account and Password

You understand and agree that you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your user account ("User Account") and password, and you understand and agree that you are responsible for all activities that occur under your User Account through the use of your password. You agree to immediately notify us of any unauthorized use of your User Account.

You agree that you will create, use, and access only one User Account. You agree that you will not access the Service using multiple User Accounts. You agree not to let anyone else use your User Account, or to use another's User Account.

6. Use of the Service is Voluntary

By registering for the Service, you acknowledge your understanding and agreement that your use of the Service is optional and voluntary. Class Educators understand and agree that they may be required to provide other accommodations (such as paper assignments) to Users who do not agree to the terms of the Agreements. OpenStax is not responsible for arranging for other accommodations.

7. User Rules

As used in the Agreements, "Content" refers to any content, information, or materials submitted, posted, uploaded, or otherwise appearing (collectively, "submitted") on or through the Service, including but not limited to text, images or graphics, audio, video, code, documents, and other materials.

By submitting Content to the Service, you warrant, represent, and agree that you have the necessary rights, licenses, and/or permissions to submit that Content to the Service and to authorize OpenStax and its users to display or otherwise use and distribute your Content. You warrant, represent, and agree that your submission of Content will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party. You understand and agree that you, and not OpenStax, are solely responsible for your Content and the consequences of posting or publishing that Content.

You warrant, represent, and agree that you have not and will not submit Content to the Service that includes other parties' private or personally identifiable information without their express authorization.

You further warrant, represent, and agree that you have not and will not submit any Content that is unlawful, offensive, threatening, libelous, defamatory, pornographic, obscene, or otherwise objectionable, in our sole discretion. While we prohibit such conduct and Content on the Service, you understand and agree that OpenStax cannot be responsible for the Content posted on the Service and you nonetheless may be exposed to such materials.

Additionally, you agree (a) not to use the Service in any manner intended to interfere with or disrupt the Site or servers or networks connected to any Site servers, or to damage the operation of other users' computer or property; (b) that you may not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any portion of the Site, other accounts, computer systems, or networks connected to any Site server; and (c) that any unauthorized attempt to access, scrape, or download in bulk any materials or information stored on the website, its servers, or associated computers is strictly prohibited.

8. Using Content in the Service

The content in the Service may be protected by United States copyright law, the equivalent laws of other countries, and international treaties. You agree to respect the intellectual property rights of the authors of works appearing in the Service. You may only use such works subject to the terms and conditions of their respective licenses, if any, and applicable law. You may only copy, modify, distribute and otherwise use the works in the Service in accordance with a license to do so or as may otherwise be permitted under applicable law.

9. No Other Enrollment

Registering for or completing a Class hosted on OpenStax Tutor by an external institution does not, in and of itself, confer any special standing upon you with any institution. You will not be an applicant for admission to, or enrolled in, any degree program offered by an institution as a result of registering for or completing a course provided by that institution through OpenStax Tutor.

10. Links to Other Sites

The Service may include links to sites maintained or controlled by others. You agree that these sites are not under our control and that we are not responsible for and do not routinely screen, approve, review or endorse the contents of or use of any of the products or services that may be offered at these sites. You further agree that we are not responsible for the collection and use of your information by such websites. If you decide to access linked third party web sites, you understand and agree that you do so at your own risk. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the terms, practices, and privacy policies of each website you visit and use.

11. Fees

OpenStax may from time to time charge fees for you to access a Class hosted by the Service. Our fees, if any, are available on the Site. Unless otherwise stated, our fees are quoted in U.S. dollars. You are responsible for paying all fees and applicable taxes with a payment mechanism supported by the Service. Fees may vary based on your Class and other factors. OpenStax reserves the right to change any fees at any time at its sole discretion. OpenStax is under no obligation to provide you access to a Class or the Content in the Service after the Class end date shown in the Service.

12. Refund Policy

Refunds may be available for use of the Service as described in this Refund Policy. Students who purchase access to the Service may request a refund of the price of the Service within fourteen (14) days of purchasing access to the Service.

A user who is eligible for a refund under this refund policy can log in to the Service and request a refund. Refunds will be credited via the original payment method. Once a refund is issued for a Class in the Service, user access to that Class will terminate.

13. Grace Period Policy

OpenStax may, but is not obligated to, provide a 14-day period during which students may enroll in and access a course in the Service without paying (the “Grace Period”). Students will be prompted to pay for access to the Service at the end of the Grace Period in order to continue access to the Service. OpenStax reserves the right to alter or discontinue the Grace Period policy at any time at our sole discretion.

14. Disclaimers of Warranty, Limitations of Liability, Fine Print

This entire section shall survive the termination of the Agreements.

OpenStax reserves the right at any time and from time to time, in our sole discretion, to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Service with or without notice. We may refuse service, close accounts of users, and change our requirements at any time. We shall not have any responsibility or liability to you or to any third party in the event of any such modification, suspension or discontinuance of the Service.

You understand and agree that you, and not OpenStax, are solely responsible and liable for your use of the Service, for your use of the Content in the Service, for any Content you submit, for all activities that occur under your account, and/or for any consequences thereof, including the use of your Content by other Users and third parties. In addition, any use of, or reliance on, Content made available on or through the Service, or obtained by you through the Service, is entirely at your own risk.

We do not undertake any obligation to review or monitor any Content submitted by Users and shall not have any responsibility or liability in connection therewith. However, we may remove Content if we deem it appropriate to do so, in our sole discretion, including but not limited to, to comply with law or legal process, to respond to third party complaints, to enforce these Terms, or to protect OpenStax Tutor, OpenStax, or our affiliates.

THE SERVICE AND ANY INFORMATION, CONTENT, OR SERVICES MADE AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THE SERVICE ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS, WITHOUT ANY REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES OF ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. WE DO NOT MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION THAT THE SERVICE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS OR EXPECTATIONS OR ACHIEVE THE INTENDED PURPOSES. WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT DEFECTS ON THE SITE OR IN INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE SERVICE WILL BE CORRECTED. WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE SERVICE WILL OPERATE IN AN UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE MANNER OR THAT THE SITE IS FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS. YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR PROPERTY (INCLUDING YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR PROPERTY) OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OR USE OF THE CONTENT. YOUR USE OF THE SITE, AND THE CONTENT AND SERVICES OBTAINED THROUGH THE SERVICE, IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, WHETHER IN TORT ( INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, SHALL WE BE LIABLE TO YOU OR TO ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CLAIMS FOR DEFAMATION, ERRORS, LOSS OF DATA, OR INTERRUPTION IN AVAILABILITY OF DATA) DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THESE TERMS OF SERVICE, WITH THE OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, ACCESS OR USE OF THE SERVICE, YOUR USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE SITE OR ACCESS ANY RELATED INFORMATION OR SERVICES, OR YOUR RELIANCE UPON INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE SERVICE.

TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, BY USING AND ACCESSING THE SERVICE, YOU AGREE TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND LIABLE FOR ANY AND ALL DEMANDS, CLAIMS, ACTIONS, DAMAGES, LOSSES, LIABILITIES, COSTS AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COURT COSTS, SUFFERED BY OPENSTAX DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR ACCESS OR USE OF THE SERVICE, YOUR SUBMISSION OF ANY CONTENT TO THE SERVICE, OR YOUR VIOLATION OF ANY OF THE TERMS OR CONDITIONS OF THE AGREEMENTS.

Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Agreements shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

If any provision of the Agreements is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties agree that provision will be removed or edited as little as necessary, and the other provisions of the Agreements shall remain in full force and effect.

The Agreements shall be interpreted and enforced under the laws of the United States and the State of Texas, without giving effect to its conflicts or choice of law principles. In the event a dispute arises related to the Agreements or your access or use of the Service, you agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts located in Harris County, Texas.

The Agreements and our Privacy Policy (which are incorporated herein by reference), and any additional terms and conditions you have agreed to make up the entire agreement and supersede all prior agreements, representations, and understandings. The headers and sidebar text used in the Agreements are provided only to make the Agreements easier to read and understand and will not affect the way the Agreements are interpreted.

Privacy Policy

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully before accessing or using the OpenStax Tutor website, or other products, services, and pages offered by or through OpenStax Tutor. The OpenStax Tutor Privacy Policy explains what information we collect when you use the Service. It also explains the specific ways we use and disclose that information.

OpenStax Tutor ("OpenStax Tutor" or the "Service") includes the services, products, and pages offered through the URLs openstaxtutor.org and/or tutor.openstax.org and/or openstax.org/openstax-tutor and/or accounts.openstax.org (collectively referred to as the "Site"). OpenStax Tutor is provided by William Marsh Rice University, its staff, independent contractors, and representatives (collectively referred to as "OpenStax," "we," "our," or "us"). As a person who accesses or registers to use the Service, you are a "User" (or "you").

1. About this Privacy Policy

By using or accessing the Service, or by providing information to us, you acknowledge your understanding and consent to the practices and policies described in this document. You hereby consent to the collection, storage, use, retention, transfer, and disclosure of information about you (including Personal Information, Content, and Usage Data, as defined in the Definitions section) including but not limited to the transfer of your Personal Information between OpenStax and the third parties and affiliates described in this Privacy Policy and our Terms. You also consent that such information may be transferred to, processed in, and stored in, the United States and elsewhere.

We care about the confidentiality and security of your Personal Information and will use commercially reasonable efforts to keep your Personal Information secure. In addition, please note that your education records are protected by the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act," to the extent that FERPA may apply.

If you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, then please do not use or access the Service or provide any information, including Personal Information, to us. If you refuse or withdraw your consent, or if you choose not to provide us with any information required to use the Service, we will not be able to provide you with the Service.

The sidebar text used in this Privacy Policy is provided to make it easier to understand but is not a substitute for the actual terms of the Privacy Policy.

2. Definitions

"Personal Information" means information provided by you or by others that identifies you, including but not limited to first name, last name, and contact information.

"Content" refers to any content, works, information, or materials submitted, posted, uploaded, or otherwise appearing (collectively, "submitted") to or through the Service, including but not limited to text, questions, answers, descriptions, images or graphics, audio, video, and other materials.

"Usage Data" refers to data describing your interactions with the Service, including, but not limited to, data describing the time and date the Service was accessed, your interactions on each page (e.g., clicking, moving the mouse over an item), how and when user interface controls are accessed, indicia of effectiveness and other metrics, Content you submit to the Service, and all data sent from your computing platform to the Service server in HTTP requests (including but not limited to IP address, JSON data, and any information derived from the collected data).

"Deidentified Usage Data" refers to data that has been stripped of Personal Information that is linked or linkable to a specific User, in a manner that would prevent a reasonable person from identifying a User with reasonable certainty.

Capitalized terms that are not defined in the Privacy Policy have the meaning given them in our Terms of Service.

3. Modifications

We may modify this Privacy Policy from time to time, for example to reflect changes to the Service or relevant laws. If we determine that we need to make material changes to this Privacy Policy, we will, as applicable, notify you, your school, or school district of our intended changes and ask you or them to agree to modifications. If you, your school, or school district does not agree to the modifications, you must discontinue your use of the Service. Any new features that enhance the current Service, including the release of new tools and resources, shall be subject to the Privacy Policy.

4. Your Personal Information in the Service

We do not require you to provide Personal Information to the Service unless it is required to provide the Service or required by our Terms of Use. When you access the Service using your unique username and password, we track individual transactions conducted under your User Account. For this reason, when you are signed into your User Account, you are never required to include your name or other Personal Information in Content you submit to the Service. By providing Personal Information voluntarily, you give us permission to use and disclose such Personal Information as described in this Privacy Policy. You further understand and agree that, if you do include Personal Information in Content submitted to the Service, you do so voluntarily and at your own risk.

5. Information We Collect

By voluntarily using the Service, and by providing information voluntarily, you give us permission to collect, receive, use, store, transfer, and disclose your information, including Personal Information, but only in the ways described in this Privacy Policy. The below describes the information we collect when you use or access the Service:

  • Information You Provide to Us: We collect and store information, including Personal Information, you submit when you use the Service, pay for the Service, send us an email, or otherwise provide information to us. That information may include, but is not limited to, your name, email address and street address. To the extent that you submit Content to the Service, we will collect that Content and any associated Usage Data. If you contact OpenStax support to request assistance, we may collect and store information (including Personal Information) you provide in communications with us by email or phone. If you choose to participate in optional activities (e.g., surveys, learning research studies) offered via the Service, we receive and store information (including Personal Information) you may voluntarily provide, for example, gender or demographic information.
  • Usage Data: We will also collect and store Usage Data describing your interactions with the Service. Usage Data describes, for example, which pages you visit and the actions you take on each page, the order in which pages were visited, the date and time of interactions, and how long you spend doing certain tasks. We may log the IP address, operating system, and browser software used by each User, and we may be able to determine from an IP address a User's Internet Service Provider and the geographic location of a User's point of connectivity.
  • Cookies, Web Analytics: We use various web analytics tools to collect information about your operating system, browser and/or plugin information, referring and exiting URLs, IP address, and all data sent by the client to our servers. Some of this information is collected through cookies. Please note that cookies exist to enable functionality and to provide information about usage of our site, not for advertising purposes. Most browsers allow you to control how and whether your web browser will accept cookies; however, if you reject our cookies, you may not be able to use the Service properly. From time to time, we may use additional typical methods of collecting data.
  • Information from Other Sources: If you connect to the Service using your Twitter, Facebook, or Google credentials, you authorize us to collect and store your authentication information, such as your username, encrypted access credentials, and other information that may be available on or through your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account, including but not limited to your name and profile picture.
  • As Otherwise Described to You, Pursuant to Your Consent: To the extent that you voluntarily provide your consent, we will receive and store other kinds of information. For example, if you choose to participate in optional activities such as learning research studies, you may voluntarily opt to allow OpenStax Tutor researchers ("Researchers") to receive deidentified assessment grades and results from assignments completed in the Service and/or assignments completed externally.

6. How We Use Your Information

We may use the information, including Content and Personal Information, collected through OpenStax Tutor in connection with the following:

  • To enable us to provide, oversee, and administer the Service.
  • To monitor, maintain, and improve the functioning and security of the Service and our Site, software, systems, and network.
  • To provide services you request from us. For example, when you submit a request for support, we may use the information provided to respond to such communications and to provide the requested service.
  • To create algorithms and programs ("Tools") that help us and our partners provide new services or improve existing features and to conduct research. For example, to personalize student experiences for each individual learner, to evaluate the effectiveness of materials and the learning experience, to assess a student's level of ability, to improve our understanding of the learning process, etc.
  • To track, evaluate, and analyze individual and aggregate use of the Service, and to evaluate the access and use of the Service.
  • To contact you about, or in connection with, the Service and your use of the Service. For example, we may send you notification emails about new features or relevant Class announcements.
  • To enable you to pay for the Service. OpenStax provides you with the ability to pay for the Service using a credit card through a third-party payment processing service provider. Our service provider collects and processes your credit card information.
  • To share, publish, or otherwise publicize information, but not Personal Information, describing individual and aggregate use of the Service, progress and completion of courses, competencies and performance, and learning behavior.
  • To investigate, take action, or prevent illegal activities, suspected fraud, suspected violations of the Terms, potential misuses of the Service, security issues, or technical issues; to respond to subpoenas, court orders, or other legal process; to prosecute and defend a court arbitration or similar proceeding; to protect our rights, property, or safety or those of others; or as otherwise required by law.
  • As otherwise described to you in this Privacy Policy, for example in the section describing how we may share your information with third parties.
  • As otherwise described to you at the point of collection, pursuant to your consent (e.g., in connection with a learning research study), or as otherwise permitted by law.

7. Sharing Your Information

We may share information, including Personal Information and Content, as follows:

  • With trusted third parties that perform certain tasks on our behalf. For example, this includes but is not limited to service providers providing customer support, operation and administration of the Site or portions of it, processing information that you provide to us, and other tasks related to the Service. We allow these third parties to access only the information needed to perform those services and require them to maintain confidentiality of your information, including Personal Information.
  • With affiliates of OpenStax, or with successors and their affiliates in the event of a merger, acquisition or reorganization, for their use consistent with this Privacy Policy.
  • To investigate, take action, or prevent illegal activities, suspected fraud, suspected violations of the Terms, security issues, or technical issues; to respond to subpoenas, court orders, or other legal process; to prosecute and defend a court arbitration or similar proceeding; to protect our rights, property, or safety or those of others; or as otherwise required by law.
  • For integration with third party services. For example, this includes but is not limited to videos and other content may be hosted on YouTube and other websites not controlled by us.
  • As otherwise described to you at the point of collection, pursuant to your consent (e.g., in connection with a learning research study), or as otherwise permitted by law (e.g., disclosures permitted under FERPA, to the extent FERPA applies to the information).

We may also share Deidentified Usage Data that does not personally identify you with the public and with third parties. For example, we may generate metadata about your Content to develop new techniques and tools. Our use and disclosure of such information is not subject to any restrictions under this Privacy Policy.

8. Accuracy of Data, Storage

If your data changes (like a new email address), you are responsible for notifying us of those changes.

You understand and consent that we may store your Personal Information, Content, and Usage Data for as long as we think is necessary or advisable and we reserve the right to retain it to the full extent not prohibited by law and subject to the terms of any agreement(s) between us and you, your school, or school district. You further acknowledge that we are under no obligation to store this data and may discard this data at any time at our discretion.

9. Links to Other Websites

The Service may include links to other OpenStax websites. Please read those websites' Privacy Policies prior to using other OpenStax websites. The Service may also include links to other websites. You acknowledge and agree that these sites are not under our control and that we are not responsible for the collection and use of your information by such websites. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the privacy policies and cookie practices of each website you visit and use.

10. Security and Liability for Theft and/or Disclosure of Login Credentials

Please be aware that, although we endeavor to keep information transmitted to or stored by the Site secure, no method of transmitting or storing electronic data can protect against all potential security breaches. We will bear no liability for access to, or use or disclosure of, your information (including Personal Information) if such access, use, or disclosure arises in connection with the theft thereof.

In addition, you are responsible for safeguarding the confidentiality of your username and password to the Site. You must keep your username and password secure and never disclose them to a third party. Account passwords are encrypted, which means we cannot see your passwords. We bear no liability for access to, or use or disclosure of, your information (including Personal Information) if such access, use or disclosure arises in connection with theft or due to disclosure of a password.